MAY 2010

05/08/10 - Chez Gerdés – Best Dinner Ever!  John and Elisa recently made a trip to Paso Robles, California.  In honor of this trip they invited Karen, Kayne, Susan, and me to dinner at their house on Saturday.   It was an opportunity to discuss wine, share stories, and generally have a splendid time. 

The menu was simply exquisite (the time and effort put into this meal was utterly impressive) - there was a wine paired with each of the courses and even an aperitif during the middle.  By the end we were all satisfied and relaxed...when is the next dinner? ;)

- Nathan

05/09/10 - Chez Head – Okay...that just doesn't sound like a good name for a restaurant (especially compared to the previously mentioned Chez Gerdés).  Nevertheless, tonight was Susan's first wine and food pairing demonstration.  Her first lesson was all about Sauvignon Blanc.  This is a wine which can range from grassy to fruity depending on whatever region of the planet the bottle originated from.  As such, we invited our friends Glenda, Nick, Lauren, and Asa to participate and bring wines from 4 distinct areas.

The above wines were served with a wonderful dinner of sole fish, fresh garden salad, vegetable quinoa, and orange dessert.  Thanks Sweetie! 

- Nathan

05/15/10 - Muddy Buddy – So David Golden asks, "Want to participate in a run/bike through the mud?"  Nathan says, "Sure, sounds like a blast!"  Thus began our first annual Muddy Buddy race.  This first race took place near Austin (actually in Johnson City); however, future years will take place in the newly added Dallas event.


Mud Nerds Avatars

David and I arrived a day early and partook of a few festivities before training for the race (and by training I mean sleeping).  We visited Texas Hills Winery where we sampled some great Orange Muscat and then we caught an evening showing of Iron Man 2. 


Bright White - Not So Much at the End The Winos

The event itself started at about 8AM the following morning.  The race takes place in several waves (for safety since there are both bikers and runners on the trail) and our team, the Winos, were in the 2nd wave.  David started on the bike and I ran the first leg of the 7-mile journey.  Approximately every 1.5 miles there would be an obstacle where, upon completion, our team would swap running/biking duties.  There were a total of 4 obstacles during the race with a final mud pit obstacle at the very end.


Rock Wall Balance Beam; David on the Left Beam

Overall the race was simply a ton of fun (and by ton I mean the weight of the mud caked to our shoes and the bike).  There was a lot of camaraderie on the trail and everyone was really there just to have a good time. 


Rope Wall Mud Pit at End; We Sank About 6" With Each Crawl

Ultimately our team finished 68th out of about 400 teams with a final chip time of 56:13.  I definitely think the biking was by far the most difficult (traction was spotty at best and the steep hills - well, I didn't even bother kidding myself - I simply pushed the bike up the hill).  The running was definitely a little slippery going down hills but it was definitely easier to maintain a decent pace.  On a side note, in case you are curious, the race is designed to where you pass your buddy off and on through the race and then finally catch up together to finish at the same time.  I'm absolutely looking forward to the Jail Break run later this year - it is very similar in concept.


Fist Bump Mud Pit The Finish Line

* My apologies for the poor picture quality - I had to use a disposable camera in fear of destroying my regular camera.

- Nathan

05/19/10 - Roller Skate Fever – About 10 years ago Susan and I met at a roller skating rink in Stillwater.  Neither of us had been to one in a long time, but we had a mutual friend, Russell Barnes, who was interested in reliving old times.  Move forward 10 years later and we're happily married and looking to relive those old times so we invited several friends to join us for a night of roller skating at Rollerland West in Fort Worth.


Erin, Susan, Josh, DeAnna, Jacob, and David The Goldens

David, Erin, Jacob, DeAnna, and Josh joined us for our night of risking life and limb in the pursuit of completing a circle around the floor.  Fortunately, since it was a Wednesday night, we didn't have to worry about lots of kids...we mainly only had to worry about whatever crap, dust, and critters happened to be crawling on the floor (really, I'd bet this rink hasn't seen the light of a vacuum cleaner since I first donned a pair of skates).  Nevertheless it was tons of fun and I had a blast.

- Nathan

05/22/10 - Landscaping Update – I haven't updated on the landscaping in a while, well, mainly because there has been nothing to update about.  Our landscaper, Bill, works at about the speed of darkness.  We're hoping he finishes sometime this spring/summer so that we can have a fall backyard party (as opposed to the spring party we originally hoped for; however, a 2 month job has already turned into a 6 month job).  What has been done looks good and I'm supplying some promised pictures below.


Half a Pond Flagstone Back Porch

Backyard Dining Deck Fencing Project

In addition to our landscaping changes we are also having our dilapidated fence replaced.  This is being done by Mike Rine of Tight Line Fence (a close friend of my brother, Lance).  The fence is going to be a masterpiece when it is finished - and I'm certainly glad to see progress on a daily basis (I've missed seeing progress).  I'll also post some pictures of the completed fence in the near future (perhaps when we have some additional completed work from Bill).

- Nathan